7 September 2017

Five visual artists from Barbados to discover

Island life.

[W]hen you think of Barbados, sun, rum and Rihanna probably come to mind. Known for its idyllic beaches, rugged countryside and soca music – this tiny island is also home to one of the most exciting artistic communities in the Caribbean.

Inspired by the country’s melting pot of diverse communities, its colonial history, spirituality, and verdant landscapes – a new generation of artists are exploring Bajan identity and culture in unique and vibrant ways.

We recently travelled to Carifesta, to experience the artistic life of the island up close. Here are five of the most inspiring visual talents we found along the way.

sheena rose

Sheena Rose - 'Sweet Gossip'

Sheena Rose is a young artist exploring the rich tapestry of everyday life in Barbados and through her travels, the concept of belonging. Created in collaboration with a local historian, her ‘Sweet Gossip’ project documents the pop culture and colloquial language of Barbados to humourous effect. Using self-portraiture, her recent series ‘Black Obeah’ is a glitter-filled surreal study of identity and anxiety – inspired by the Igbo term for sorcery and mysticism.

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Mark King

Mark King - Unwelten

Fascinated by neuroscience, cognitive mapping and psychology, Mark King is an installation artist and photographer. His portraits and immersive installations are characterised by their use of complex geometric designs. Inspired by the plastic bags found on the island, his ‘Plastic’ series of portraits portrays Bajan people through a hyperreal palette of colours.

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 Simone Asia

Simone Asia - Lighthouse

The alter ego and the idea of multiple selves are the inspiration behind Simone Asia’s art. The Bridgetown illustrator creates intricately detailed works using pen and ink, fusing the body with surreal elements and architecture drawn from the island.

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Ronald Williams

Ronald Williams - 'Dionysus', part of the Alpha series

Displayed on a bench in Independence Square, Bridgetown, Ronald William’s Alpha series combines imagery drawn from contemporary black culture, with figures from classical Greek mythology.  Based on the Olympians, Ronald’s series casts ordinary Bajan people as the icons in his work in a challenge to Western beauty standards. Apollo is transformed into a pretty boy, while Zeus becomes a conscious, spiritual character – representing a state of serenity outside of the materialism of the world.

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Jacqueline Hinds

Jacqueline Hinds - The Sacrifice of the Builders of the Panama Canal

Jacqueline Hinds - The Sacrifice of the Builders of the Panama Canal

Born in St. Michael, Barbados, Jacqueline Hinds is a multimedia artist producing sculpture, oil paintings, photography, installations and music. Her style ranges from photo-realism to abstract art. Jacqueline’s most recent multimedia production is an emotive tribute to the builders of the Panama Canal, telling the stories of the Bajan people who lost and risked their lives a century ago to construct it.

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Hunger travelled with Visit Barbados and stayed at Port Ferdinand in St. Peter, Barbados – find out more about the resort

British Airways flies from Gatwick to Barbados daily during the summer and 12 times a week during the winter. Book here